Molly Mattingly, Head of Learning Disability Programmes:
"During the last few days of January, I went to the Inclusive Community Experience at Ribby Hall in Blackpool. We were five out of 222 delegates attending the event which is held each year. It’s based on the concept of using the assets we have in our community as the foundation for the conference and is run on a tight budget – it’s an experience rather than a traditional conference. There was a wide range of community building activities such as ‘Come Dine With Us’, a night of ‘We've Got Talent’, and workshops encouraging people to strive for a good life.
Our Get a Plan team- Jenna Tregoning, Christine Burke (Learning for Leadership coordinator) and myself along with Judith Woodard (family carer) and Rory Bray-Harper (a young self-advocate) - attended and presented at the event. Judith and Rory talked about their experiences of going through ‘transition’ –and how they got to where they are today.
Rory has a personal budget now and is supported to do the things that he wants to do in his life. This includes studying media studies at college, which is his passion. He’s also singer-songwriter. He has personal assistants who support him in his various roles as a radio presenter on Saturdays for Redruth Radio and help him to enjoy his hobbies of video development, blogging and going out with friends and family.
The atmosphere of the event was complimented by the sharing our gifts, talents and recognising how important it is to focus on these in order to make positive things happen for people with learning disabilities and their families during these difficult times. We met fantastic people of all abilities who welcomed us and helped us recognise that all people in our communities are important, ready and willing to get involved in supporting each other. We felt very welcome and our hosts, hostesses and Northern community partners provided us with wonderful food and accommodation. We’re very much looking forward to next year.
Check out some pictures and find out more about the event on the In Control and Embrace Wigan and Leigh websites. "
03 February 2012